Heavy rain and strong winds lashed Vientiane’s Hadxaifong district yesterday morning, damaging hundreds of homes, restaurants and buildings alike.
The storm began early morning at around 5am and lasted for about 30 minutes leaving minor injuries and hundreds of houses and buildings without roofs or power.
|Passers-by inspect structural damage in Somsanouk village.|
Over 563 households in total 13 villages were affected by heavy rain, hail stones and wind.
The villages of Somsanouk, Salakham, Bo-O, Dongphonlao, Donkhasay, Nongvaeng, Dondou, and Dongkhamxang were hardest hit, district governor Mr Bountham Phoutthavongsa confirmed.
Educational institutions including Bo-O lower secondary school and Salakham primary and secondary schools also suffered damage.
The rain and wind blew down trees and felled utility lines creating traffic difficulties in the morning commute.
Roofs of houses and buildings and advertising signboards along the roads were blown over.
The cost of damage bill is estimated over 10 billion kip, Mr Bountham said.
Vientiane and district authorities went together to inspect the affected areas and instructed village authorities to collate losses and submit data to government for consideration as it seeks to extend assistance and recovery efforts for those most affected.
Staff from utility companies rushed to the scene to fix the damaged electricity poles and lines while cranes cleared away and wreckage to ensure smooth traffic flow.
With more rain likely it was a race a gainst time for many householders and business proprietors as they busied themselves with makeshift repairs to houses, shops, and buildings.
Vientiane Times went to inspect the affected areas and spoke with villagers who suffered losses.
Many couldn’t hold back their emotions as they explained the trauma of seeing residences being destroyed by strong wind and rain. Ms Chanphone Boulom, 52, a resident from Kang village, Hadxaifong district told Vientiane Times that rain began to fall around 5am.
After about ten minutes it intensified causing damage. Pieces of wood and roofing from a secondary school were sent flying into her property, she said. Ms Chanphone said she was very shocked as she never experienced such an incident before.